South Australia's Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier has praised an "astute young doctor" in a hospital emergency department for preventing a full-blown coronavirus outbreak in the state.
The junior doctor, who Professor Spurrier did not name, picked up that a woman in her 80s had a slight cough when she turned up at the Lyell McEwin Hospital, in Adelaide's northern suburbs, last Friday night.
The woman had coronavirus and now so do 25 of her family members and their close contacts.
They are now known as the Parafield cluster, but so far there have been no new coronavirus cases in South Australia not directly linked with the elderly woman and one of her children, who worked at the Peppers Waymouth medi-hotel.
When asked about whether the doctor was a hero at a press conference this morning, Dr Spurrier said she was actually a "heroine".
"She has done a fantastic job," she said.
"She is one of our junior doctors, but I'd say like all our staff at SA Health they do a great job. She was on the ball. She knew what she had to do.
"She heard this person cough a couple of times and thought 'they're not getting away without having a swab' and went ahead and swabbed the person.
The woman presented at the hospital "not feeling herself" and "weak", an SA Health spokeswoman said, but otherwise did not present any obvious COVID19 symptoms, which can include a cough, a runny nose and a fever.
The spokeswoman said only people with symptoms in South Australian hospitals were tested; however, all patients are asked screening questions, such as if they are feeling unwell or have been overseas recently.
Dr Spurrier said the elderly woman's case "came out of the blue, suddenly in the middle of the night".
"The real reason we picked that up was not because somebody had classic COVID symptoms and came to the emergency department, it was because of our astute young doctor junior doctor who heard a bit of a cough and thought they would take the swab and that is where we started," she said.
"The second part of this is that the contact tracing very quickly on Sunday was able to identify that it was linked to a medi-hotel and subsequent to that we did this huge blitz of testing in the medi-hotel, and that is how we picked up the additional cases at that medi-hotel."
The woman was later admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital as a precaution.
She and her husband have now been released from hospital to a medi-hotel.
The doctor is also staying in a medi-hotel after being identified as a close contact.